Are you addicted to Social Media?

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social media addiction

Social Media giants TikTok and Instagram along with many other platforms are slowly taking over our daily lives. People are spending longer and longer on their phones, however, have you ever stopped to think how it is affecting your physical and mental health.

Recent articles have stated that the average time spent on apps such as TikTok or Instagram per day is around 50 minutes. The short video format of TikTok provides just enough stimulus for you to keep scrolling mindlessly without processing how much time has really passed.  

Relying on social media for validation or stimulus at a young age can also have a large impact on developing your mental health. Studies have shown that anyone who uses social media for more than 3 hours a day have a higher risk of not fully developing social interaction skills, more likely to feel lonely and disconnected from others and have more issues with brain development. This can also lead onto more serious health issues such as depression and eating disorders.  

Effects Social Media might be having on you 

TikTok or any other platform may not seem like a bad addiction however once you find yourself just wanting to sit for longer and longer on their apps it can create some negative effects. 

For example, 

  1. The inability to stop using or scrolling on them can create negative health effects such as, lying down for too long, the strain on your eyes or the way it will affect your sleep. 
  2. The way it impacts how you deal with outside problems such as communication and social connections.
  3. It is beginning to affect your school or work life and stopping you from completing tasks. 
Tips to Help

3 quick tricks to help minimise your screen time 

1: Set an alarm – create a time when you allow yourself to sit, have a break, and scroll on your phone, once the timer goes off, put your phone down and keep going with what you were doing before. (This is also a really good study trick and gives you a reward for your efforts.)

2: Don’t use your phone before you go to bed – it is a really easy habit to get into checking your phone every night before bed, however the danger is that you will continue to use the phone later and later each night, and it will begin to affect your sleep schedule

3: Remove unnecessary apps from your home screen – delete or move applications such as TikTok and Instagram off your home screen onto another page, by doing this you will automatically not see the applications when you are bored and click straight onto them out of habit, (out of sight, out of mind). 

If you find yourself spending more and more hours scrolling through TikTok or Instagram and you start to recognise the negative impacts it is having on you, there is no harm in deleting the application completely off your phone for a while as you try to detox and reconnect. You don’t have to delete your accounts, just remember your passwords and as soon as you are ready to redownload it all the data will still be there.

 – Written by David Kernohan, Director of Youth Legal Services


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